I mentioned in my last post that I had been collecting the seed from the Sweet Peas. I managed to get quite a few envelopes filled in the end, and have today finished cleaning the chaff away ready for storage. I should have left the sweet peas in their pods to dry out completely, but they had been left for some time, and so I had to open them to check through for any growth of mould and critters living in the pods. (I found a fair few little insects – I suppose they were mites of some kind? At any rate, I didn’t fancy leaving them to munch on al my seed and make it useless.)

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Whilst sitting on the patio yesterday and hunting through my sweet pea plants for seed, I came across a few more visitors to the garden – yet again in the form of caterpillars. Never one to miss an opportunity, I grabbed the camera and set to it, ready to identify the little critters as soon as I came inside. The caterpillar I first came across was quite a fat little fellow, and rather well masked amongst the sweet pea foliage. At first I took it to be a Small Cabbage White, as they are after all so very common. Now I am uncertain, as the ring-like markings on its back are very similar to the Speckled Wood Butterflies also found in the UK.

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RIP Douglas Alexander, d. Sep 2010, a wonderful grandfather and a truly knowledgeable, warm and kind-hearted individual. You will be sorely missed.

Image courtesy of http://www.backgroundpictures.org/

 

I am always meaning to indulge in these Gardener’s World offers in the magazines, but for some reason I always leave it too late, and I never get around to doing things. Not this month. No No. They were offering 160 ‘free’ spring-flowering bulbs (£4.50 for postage). It’s an absolute bargain in my eyes. And of course, the deals are going through Thompson and Morgan still, so it gave me a good opportunity to take a look at the new shop website. I placed my order, and looked at the other Gardener’s World offers they had in place. None of them were particularly ground-breaking, I’ve seen most of these plants on offer before, and I’ve seen them elsewhere cheaper still. However, they still had on offer their Allium collection.

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Yet more visitors to the garden today, as we found this caterpillar venturing around our kitchen drain.

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It really is downhill from here on in. However, I was overjoyed to see the view from my kitchen window this morning, sun streaming through the trees and frost slowly melting to dewdrops on the lawn. The chickens weren’t too happy about it, pecking hopelessly at the frozen mud, trying to reach some wandering earthworm, protected in the warmer earth by its frosty ceiling.

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